BSc Speech and Language Therapy / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Applied Psychology and Sociology

Course unit fact file
Unit code PCHN10332
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit runs in the second semester of the first year of study providing a foundation knowledge in key topics within the fields of psychology and sociology, focussing on theoretical models and relevant research. These will be related back to clinical practice and important considerations when working with clients, providing a good understanding of clients, carers, and the influence of various factors on diagnosis and intervention.


The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to gain a foundation knowledge in key topics within the fields of psychology and sociology that are of relevance for speech and language therapy.
  • Provide students with opportunities to gain awareness of physical, cognitive, social and emotional processes across the lifespan, their impact on the individual, and consideration of these factors in therapeutic practice.
  • Provide students with opportunities to apply psychological and sociological theories to speech and language therapy case studies and reflect on how these theories relate to clinical speech and language therapy practice.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Outline and apply key sociological, psychological and psycholinguistic theories and models relevant to language and communication, and understand the importance of these to speech and language therapy practice.
  • Demonstrate understanding of psychological processes related to their own values, beliefs, and biases considering the potential impact on practice.
  • Describe the key developmental changes that commonly occur across the lifespan, and their impact on the individual.
  • Discuss alternative explanations for the acquisition, consolidation, modification and deterioration of skills and processes with reference to research.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of communication needs on the psychological and social wellbeing of a person and his/her relationships.
  • Apply knowledge of social and cognitive psychology to healthcare practice.

Intellectual skills

  • Acquire, synthesise, and evaluate information from a range of sources.
  • Present a clear discussion of the topic, demonstrating an understanding of the theoretical issues involved, which is accurately expressed with appropriate referencing.
  • Synthesise and interpret information on complex topics to present logical arguments, justifying the chosen position with reference to the evidence considered.
  • Understand the importance and application of the available information to the provision of speech and language therapy services.
  • Engage in independent learning to review and consolidate their knowledge and understanding of the information presented.

Practical skills

  • Use library, electronic and online resources to support learning.
  • Accurately present and discuss information on (hypothetical) clients based on case vignettes.
  • Write clearly and concisely in an appropriate formal style in order to communicate information accurately and reliably.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate social and cultural awareness, identifying and understanding the differences and needs of others.
  • Utilise library and electronic resources to support and extend their own learning.
  • Independently gather, organise, and synthesise material from various sources.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills appropriate to the intended audience.
  • Continue to engage in self-directed learning that will promote professional development.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching processes utilise tutor led lectures, group discussions, and directed individual reading and study.

To support independent study, resources, including videos, directed reading, multiple choice quizzes and lecture slides, will be made available on the unit's online Blackboard learning environment.

Assessment methods

  1. Online quizzes (formative)
  2. Case vignette discussion exercises (formative)
  3. Case vignette written assignment (1600 words, 100%)

Feedback methods

Students will have the opportunity to self-evaluate their performance following online quizzes and against tutor and peer discussion during case vignette discussion exercises. Students will receive verbal feedback on the case vignette discussion exercises in preparation for the case vignette assignment.

Students will receive a mark and detailed, evaluative tutor written feedback on completion of the case vignette assignment. This feedback will provide guidance to students regarding their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter as it relates to future course units, and on their formal written communication skills for future assessments.

Throughout the unit, students will have the opportunity to self-evaluate their work and understanding against class discussions.

Recommended reading

Eysenck, M. W., & Keane, M. T. (2013). Cognitive Psychology - a student's handbook. 6th/7th edition. Hove: Psychology Press.

Hayes, N. (2000). Foundations of Psychology. 3rd edition. London: Thompson learning.

Harley, T. A. (2014). The Psychology of Language: From Data to Theory: Fourth Edition. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 176

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Samantha Durrant Unit coordinator

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